Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday before Thanksgiving

I like this week. I like Thanksgiving. I like the fact that I am not traveling for Thanksgiving. I like that so many people are on vacation at work - I can get a lot of work done this week! I like that it is supposed to snow later today!!!

Last night I met the sponsee who has recently been drinking at a meeting. It was a wonderful meeting and just the thing the doctor ordered - I think. A new woman brought up the topic of "what are the rules around here?" There was an altercation at a meeting last week and she was very upset about it. Oh, how I remember when I was new and I thought that "they" ought to kick this guy and that guy out of AA. Who "they" was, I had no idea, but "they" needed to fix a lot of stuff about AA!

Someone suggested to me at that time that I read the traditions in the 12 & 12 - so I did. I learned that AA is "benign anarchy" and I came to love it! I later realized that we are all a bunch of drunks and sometimes we behave like a bunch of drunks. Imagine that!

So, last night at the meeting, a few of us talked about AA meeting etiquette. It was great. We got a chance to say that one person talks at a time. That we don't argue with each other during the meeting. That we should not give advice unless asked. That we share our own experience, strength, and hope - and there is not much to argue about there! We even got a chance to say that it is a good idea to get to the meeting on time, and stay until it is over. AND not get up 45 times to go to the bathroom or get coffee, or whatever, during the meeting! I swear I learned how to sit still for an hour by sitting in AA meetings. I was told that I could hold my pee until the meeting was over. Seriously.

It was great that this newly sober again woman was at this meeting. She is really mad at AA for supposedly failing her. It is hard for me to listen to. I tell her it is up to her to stop drinking. We can be there to help, but we cannot do it for her. But I want to hang up the phone and tell her to get screwed. Really, I do.

I really thank God that I was done drinking when I got to AA. That I was ready to listen to things I didn't want to hear. That I was willing to listen to people who didn't look like me or act like me, or wear the finest clothes or drive the nicest cars - or use the nicest language. I was willing to get on my knees and ask a Higher Power to help me - when I thought that Higher Power had turned his back on me so many years before.

And in exchange for "humbling" myself in this way? I have gotten a life grander than anything I ever imagined. Just another AA paradox...

"We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68


dAAve said...

Meeting etiquette is a great meeting topic.
Interesting that you used that ending quote today. At this morning's meeting, we read the entire Chapter 5 and discussed.

Scott W said...

Oh how I would love a weekly meeting that focused on AA etiquette! It drives me crazy that people come and go during How It Works, open pop tops, and generally give little respect to that reading. For me it's a time for quiet, a time to get centered. But that's just me.

YamadogGirl said...

Morning MC,
What a great share! We discuss meeting etiquette from time to time here also. It's good info, because when you're new, you just don't know.

What I really liked was the latter stuff though, we started Chpt. 5 last night, and the bottom line for me when I came in was this. "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has THOROUGHLY followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who CANNOT or WILL NOT completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being HONEST with themselves." pg 58 Big Book. I knew I wasn't honest with others around me, but I had no idea how bad the lie to myself was. When I almost died, I realized I did want to live, and that I was willing to go to any length, I WAS READY! We will keep this young women in our prayers, for she may or may not be ready, only her and God know. But I do know that the hands of AA are reaching out to her when she needs them.

Blessings & Love,

Syd said...

I've seen all kinds of antics in AA meetings. It is irritating but I remind myself that I'm a guest there and that my purpose is to listen and learn, even if others don't. It is a way for me to focus and shut out what is going on around me.

Pam said...

that was an excellent read for me this morning little pumpkin pie.
We must have been in the same meetings early on :)